Johnny Damon will get a chance at 3,000 hits after all. Damon has just signed a one year deal with the Cleveland Indians and will likely fill in at center field for the often injured Grady Sizemore.
He is only 277 hits shy of the mark which would really strengthen his case for joining the Hall of Fame if he can reach the milestone. The Indians have started out very slow on offense. Their team batting average is.177, the lowest in the majors so far, while Damon’s power and speed aren’t what they used to be he still has a great eye and can come in and bat .280.
His contract will likely have a buyout clause for when Sizemore comes back, but if Damon produces the Indians won’t be able to take him out of the line-up. I am very pleased he got signed this season. I was hoping he would sign with the Tigers and be the DH this year, but after signing Prince Fielder it would have been hard to sign anyone else.
Now, Damon enters a great situation. Even if he plays all year this year and plays well it would be impossible to reach 3,000 hits this season, but a successful stint with the Indians could land him a job with another team, or Cleveland again, next season when he will have a chance to get there. It will take two solid seasons for him to reach his mark as it would take an average of 140 hits a season. At the age of 38 he can do it, heck Pujols will be making $115 million dollars from the age of 38 to 41, but a lot of things still need to fall into place for that to happen.
Damon has been a superior leader and great clubhouse presence for all the teams he’s played for. He’s been in Boston and New York and come out with more fans than when he came in, which is something almost no one gets to say. It’s nice to see a team give a chance back to a guy who deserves it as much as Damon does; a guy who has given so much to this league already.